Industry News

ITP Racers Win UTV World Championships

UTV World Championships
Justin Lambert (Cognito Motorsports / Polaris) won the 2016 UTV World Championship
Walker Evans Racing Long Course Championship using ITP tires.

* Nine of the top 10 long-course podium finishers chose ITP UltraCross tires

Ontario, California, February 29, 2016 – Team ITP racers used ITP UltraCross® R Spec tires on their race vehicles to win both the long- and short-course events at the 2016 Polaris RZR UTV World Championship this past weekend in Laughlin, Nev.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend from our racers, having Justin Lambert and Mitch Guthrie Jr. each win overalls,” said Rhett Turpin, ITP Director of Sales. “On one of the most challenging and rough courses in the history of side-by-side desert racing, the ITP UltraCross tire reigned supreme, supplying unbeatable traction and versatility on the way to winning two championships.”

UTV World Championships
ITP racer Mitch Guthrie Jr. celebrated his Holz Racing Products Short Course
overall and class win with event PA announcer Tim Shelman at the 2016 RZR
UTV World Championship in Laughlin, Nev.

The UTV World Championship powered by Monster Energy event, which served as round two of the 2016 Best In The Desert racing schedule, had the most side-by-side vehicles (212; more than 20 youth racers) at one single event in the sport’s history. That didn’t include the nearly 80 other vehicles comprised of motorcycles and ATVs. It will also go down in the SxS racing history books as one of the most challenging and roughest competitions ever. It was a demanding 16-mile course, where broken axles, mechanicals and on-track mishaps were almost commonplace. The rate of attrition climbed with every lap and the strategy for some shifted from achieving podium glory to just simply finishing.

Justin Lambert was the hero of the day after winning the Walker Evans Racing Desert Racing Championship (long-course event) and his BITD class. The No. 1918 Cognito Motorsports / Polaris RZR XP1K, outfitted with 8-ply, 30-inch ITP UltraCross R Spec tires, won the UTV overall and UTV P class. He finished more than 11 minutes ahead of the runner-up, Ryan Laidlaw, who took home the UTV Turbo class victory using ITP tires on his RedLands / Polaris car.

UTV World Championships
Justin Lambert, running ITP UltraCross R Spec tires on his No. 1918 Cognito Motorsports / Polaris, continued his winning ways in 2016, by capturing 2016 Polaris RZR UTV World Championship (Walker Evans long course).
See Cognito Motorsports Hellraiser XP1K for more details on this car.

“That was the choppiest course we have ever raced,” explained Lambert. “The ITP UltraCross tires left us with no flat tires and led us to victory!”

Despite finishing more than 16 minutes behind Lambert, Kristen Matlock (Terrabit Racing / Polaris) left with a fabulous runner-up finish in the UTV P ranks and a podium finish using ITP UltraCross tires on her No. 1954 Polaris. The final two UTV Turbo class podium finishers also ran 30-inch UltraCross tires, including the third-place finishers Dustin Jones and teammate Shane Dowden (No. 978 S3 Racing / Can-Am).

UTV World Championships
Ryan Laidlaw won the UTV Turbo class and took second overall using
ITP UltraCross R Spec tires on his Polaris RZR.

ITP racer Branden Sims (fourth in the 10-lap UTV Turbo class) described the course as being pocked-marked with deep ruts, rocks and holes almost large enough to swallow cars. The breaking bumps and acceleration ruts rattled the entire vehicle to the core (despite the high-end suspensions) and shook the occupants silly. Throw in the dust clouds, lapped-traffic and deteriorating conditions of the FOX Proving Grounds and the UTVWC course became all the more unpredictable and daunting.

Hundreds of side-by-side vehicles raced for ultimate title of 2016 UTV World Champion, despite the daunting task of completing 10 laps of the grueling 16-mile racecourse.

UTV World Championships
After grabbing the Walker Evans long-course holeshot with their ITP tires, Dustin Jones and co-pilot Shane Dowden, went on to finish third in the UTV Turbo ranks in their No. 978 S3 Racing / Can-Am Maverick.

“We had 9 of 10 of the top finishers in the Walker Evans Racing Desert Championship race using our tire, which speaks again to the durability and capabilities of the UltraCross R Spec tire,” explained Turpin. “When a product continues to generate repeatable results, it establishes new levels of respect amongst racers and recreational riders alike. This level of R&D is irrefutable and contributes to our continuing efforts to manufacture tires that outlast the competition.”

With their 40th consecutive finish in BITD action, the Can-Am / ITP / Murray Racing team of Derek and Jason Murray finished sixth (ninth overall) in the UTV Turbo class ahead of fellow ITP racer, Turbo class competitor and reigning BITD champion Johnny Angal (UTV Inc. / Polaris).

UTV World Championships
Branden Sims, like Mitch Guthrie Jr. and few others, competed in both the long and short course events. He took fourth in the UTV Turbo class in the long course and finished sixth in the UTV Production Turbo class on the short course.

Mitch Guthrie Jr., who took fifth in the UTV Turbo class in the long-course, also scored himself an overall win on the day and with it, like Lambert, a brand-new RZR as his prize. The young racer borrowed his father’s Polaris – which still sported 32-inch ITP UltraCross R Spec tires fresh from its entry at the the King Of The Hammers race earlier this month – and survived another 64 miles on the unruly course to secure the win in the 4-mile Holz Racing Products Production Short Course Championship that featured more than 100 entries.

“This [past] weekend’s UTVWC course was super tough. As both of the races went on, the track got very brutal and caused us to greatly rely on the tire we run,” stated Guthrie Jr. “The ITP UltraCross is a huge part of our program because it gives us the chance to run the car harder and faster than our competitors through parts of the course that would take a toll on any other tire. It’s huge not having to worry about flats and that’s something that helped get us the win on Saturday”

UTV World Championships
Dressed in 30-inch ITP UltraCross R Spec tires, the No. 917 Can-Am of Derek and Jason Murray took sixth in the UTV Turbo class and ninth overall, but in the process also completed their 40th straight BITD finish (without a DNF).

About ITP

In business for more than 30 years, ITP has become the world’s #1 ATV/UTV aftermarket tire and wheel source. ITP utilizes its experienced staff of engineers, designers and technicians at its two American tire facilities in Clinton, Tenn., and Jackson, Tenn., to develop award-winning tire-and-wheel designs for virtually all ATVs and side-by-side vehicles. Numerous outlets distribute ITP tires across the United States and in more than 25 countries worldwide. For a full-color ITP catalog, call toll-free: 1-800-889-7367.

About The Carlstar Group
The Carlstar Group is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee and is a global manufacturer of original equipment and aftermarket specialty tires and wheels for the agriculture, construction, outdoor power equipment, powersports, high speed trailer and flat free/manual markets. The diverse portfolio of solutions are offered under several leading brands including Carlisle® tires and wheels, ITP® tires and wheels, as well as Cragar®, Black Rock® and Unique® wheels and Marastar® flat free and manual tires. The Carlstar Group employs 4000 associates in 22 facilities located in five countries. Since 1917, a culture of converting great ideas into advanced products has created a legacy of excellence in product innovation, quality, and customer service. For more about The Carlstar Group, visit

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